Longwood University and the Virginia Geographic Alliance are teaming up for the first time to host the 2013 Virginia Geographic Bee Finals on Friday, April 5.

The competition will feature students in grades four through eight who won their respective school’s bee, then took a qualifying test in which the top 100 scorers were invited to compete at the state level by the National Geographic Society.

The preliminary rounds, which are closed to the public, will narrow the number of participants to 10 students who will then compete in the final round. The final round, in Jarman Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

Dr. Edward Kinman, associate professor of geography and earth sciences, played a role in bringing the state finals to Longwood. He has been involved in creating teacher institutes that educate and promote geography education. 

"This is an opportunity for the students to see Longwood and for the teachers who will be here as well," said Kinman, a member of the Virginia Geographic Alliance. "And with our emphasis on teacher preparation, I thought that was a good fit for us to be a host."

The state winner will receive a cash prize and represent Virginia in the national finals May 22 at the National Theater in Washington, D.C. The grand prize for the national finals includes a $25,000 college scholarship, lifetime membership in the society and a trip to the Galápagos Islands, renowned for its wildlife and landscape.

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